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What Is It Really Like to Cycle in Canterbury?


Explore the enchanting realm of cycling in Canterbury, where history, culture, and nature unite to create an unforgettable journey on two wheels.

Traverse the cobbled streets and ancient lanes, where every pedal stroke whispers tales of a rich and storied past.

With the iconic Canterbury Cathedral as your backdrop, meander along the tranquil River Stour, passing charming gardens and historic landmarks.

Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant ambiance, where cycling becomes a gateway to discovering hidden gems and embracing the essence of this captivating destination.

Join us as we unlock the secrets of cycling in Canterbury, a timeless experience that blends heritage, charm, and scenic wonders.

Canterbury City Cycling Statistics


In 2021, an estimated 17,000 cyclists were commuting to work or education in Canterbury City. This represents about 10% of all commuters. One in ten people commutes to job or education in Canterbury City by bicycle.

The number of cyclists in Canterbury has been increasing steadily in recent years. In 2011, only 12,000 cyclists were commuting to work or education. This number has increased by 5,000 in the last ten years, which represents a growth of about 42%.

The most popular cycling routes in Canterbury include the River Stour Way, the Pilgrims Way, and the Canterbury to Whitstable Cycleway. These routes are popular because they are scenic, well-maintained, and relatively safe.

 In recent years, the board has invested in several cycling infrastructure projects, including new cycle lanes, cycle parking facilities, and traffic calming measures. These investments have helped to make cycling a safer and more enjoyable experience for cyclists in Canterbury.


Cycle bike hire in Canterbury


these bike rental services offer a variety of bicycles to suit your preferences. Here are some of the places where you can find cycle bike hire in Canterbury:


  • Bike Hire Canterbury:

Offering a range of bikes for individuals and families, Bike Hire Canterbury provides flexible rental options, including hourly, daily, and weekly rates. They have various types of bikes, from city to mountain bikes, suitable for exploring the city or venturing into the nearby countryside.


  • Cycle-Ops:

Cycle-Ops is a reputable bike shop in Canterbury that also offers bike rentals. They have a diverse selection of high-quality bikes, including road bikes, hybrids, and electric bikes, perfect for cyclists of all levels and preferences.


  • Kent Cycle Hire:

Located just a short distance from Canterbury, Kent Cycle Hire provides various bikes for all ages, including kids’ bikes, tandems, and tag-along. You can explore the scenic Kent countryside at your own pace with options for guided tours and self-guided routes.


  • University of Kent Sports Centre:

If you’re a student at the University of Kent or visiting the campus, the University of Kent Sports Centre offers bike hire facilities for students and the general public. They have a fleet of bicycles suitable for commuting or leisurely rides around the university grounds.


  • Wild Bikes:

Wild Bikes is a social enterprise in Canterbury that offers bike rentals and cycling-related activities. They have a range of bikes, including adaptive bikes for individuals with disabilities, making cycling accessible to everyone.


  • Canterbury Bike Tours:

For a unique and informative cycling experience, Canterbury Bike Tours offers guided tours around the city and its historic landmarks. They provide bikes as part of their tour packages, allowing you to learn about the city’s history while enjoying a leisurely ride.

Before hiring a bike, inquire about the rental rates, deposit requirements, and specific terms and conditions. It’s also advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability.

Top 3 cycling routes in Canterbury


Explore the best of Canterbury’s cycling with these top three scenic routes:


  • The Crab and Winkle Way:

Follow the picturesque Crab and Winkle Way, a 7.5-mile off-road cycling route connecting Canterbury to the coastal town of Whitstable. This historic trail takes you through lush woodlands, rolling countryside, and past charming villages. Enjoy stunning views of the Kent countryside as you pedal your way to the seaside, where you can savor fresh seafood and explore the vibrant harbor of Whitstable.


  • The Great Stour Way:

For a leisurely ride along the River Stour, take The Great Stour Way. This 6-mile traffic-free path offers a serene cycling experience amidst nature. Begin in Canterbury and wind your way through tranquil meadows and serene waterscapes. The route takes you to the picturesque village of Chartham, where you can relax in its idyllic setting before returning to Canterbury.


  • The Elham Valley Way:

Venture into the scenic Elham Valley, a beautiful 22-mile circular route from Canterbury. This challenging yet rewarding ride leads you through the charming countryside, with glimpses of historic churches and quaint villages. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings as you conquer hills and valleys, making this route a favorite among experienced cyclists seeking an adventure in nature’s embrace.


These top cycling routes in Canterbury offer diverse landscapes, from coastal charm to riverside tranquillity and rustic countryside. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a leisure rider, these routes promise a memorable journey through the enchanting beauty of Canterbury and its surrounding countryside.


Bike shops in Canterbury


Discover the best bike shops in Canterbury for all your cycling needs:


  • Cycle-Ops:

In the heart of Canterbury, Cycle-Ops is a well-established bike shop catering to cyclists of all levels. With a team of knowledgeable staff, they provide expert advice and exceptional customer service.


  • The Bike Warehouse:

Whether you’re looking for a new bike or need repairs and maintenance, their experienced team can assist you. They also provide cycle fitting services to ensure a comfortable and efficient riding experience.


  • Kent Cycle Store:

A short distance from Canterbury, Kent Cycle Hire is a go-to place for bike rentals and sales. They have an extensive fleet of bikes suitable for individuals, families, and groups. Additionally, they offer guided tours and self-guided routes to explore the beautiful Kent countryside.


  • Biketart Canterbury:

Biketart is a renowned bike shop for its wide selection of bikes and cycling gear. They stock top brands and cater to different cycling disciplines, including road biking, mountain biking, and commuting.



Halfords Canterbury:

  • Halfords in Canterbury

 It is a well-known national chain offering various bikes, accessories, and maintenance services. Whether you need a new bike or require repairs, their team can help you find the right solution for your cycling needs. Read about Halford bikes any good?


  • Decathlon Canterbury:

Decathlon is another popular retail chain that offers a variety of sports equipment, including a wide selection of bikes and cycling gear. You can find options for all budgets and riding preferences, from entry-level bikes to high-performance models.


These bike shops in Canterbury cater to cyclists of all levels and interests, providing a wide selection of bikes, accessories, and services. Whether a casual rider or a dedicated cyclist, these shops offer everything you need to enhance your cycling experience in this charming city and beyond.


Where to lock your bike in Canterbury


Apologies for the similarity. Let’s explore different locations for locking your bike in Canterbury:


  • Westgate Towers:

You’ll find bike racks near the iconic Westgate Towers for cyclists to park their bikes conveniently. Lock your bike here and explore the historic city center, which is just a stone’s throw away. The picturesque gardens and medieval charm await your discovery.


  • Dane John Gardens:

Nestled in the heart of Canterbury, Dane John Gardens provides an excellent spot to lock your bike. Take a leisurely ride to this tranquil park, secure your bike, and enjoy the greenery, playgrounds, and serene atmosphere.


  • Augustine’s Abbey:

While visiting the historic St. Augustine’s Abbey ruins, bike racks are available for cyclists.


  • The Kings Mile:

As you stroll through the vibrant streets of The Kings Mile, you’ll discover designated bike racks for cyclists. Lock your bike and explore the eclectic mix of independent shops, cafes, and cultural venues in this charming part of Canterbury.


  • The Great Stour Way:

After cycling along The Great Stour Way, bike racks are conveniently placed at the trail’s endpoints. Safely park your bike before venturing into the city or enjoying a relaxing walk along the river.


  • Canterbury East Railway Station:

Secure bike parking facilities are available for those arriving by train at Canterbury East Railway Station. Lock your bike here and begin your exploration of the city with ease.


Remember to use a sturdy lock and secure your bike to the provided racks or any fixed object to prevent theft. Whether discovering historical sites, enjoying green spaces, or savoring the city’s vibrant atmosphere, these locations offer peace of mind knowing that your bike is safe. At the same time, you uncover the wonders of Canterbury.


Cycling in the City Canterbury Reddit

  • “I’ve been cycling in Canterbury for a few years now, and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the cycling infrastructure. There are more cycle lanes and paths, and the city council promotes cycling well. I recommend cycling in Canterbury to anyone looking for a healthy and sustainable way to get around.


  • “It is a straightforward and convenient way to get around. The cycle lanes are well-maintained, and the traffic is usually pretty light. I recommend cycling in Canterbury to anyone looking for a sustainable and healthy way to get around.

The reviews of cycling in Canterbury are generally positive. Cyclists appreciate the scenic routes, the relatively flat terrain, and the city council’s investment in cycling infrastructure. However, some cyclists report that the city can be congested, and drivers can be unaware of cyclists.


Local cycling clubs in Canterbury

Canterbury boasts a vibrant cycling community with several local cycling clubs that cater to cyclists of all interests and skill levels. Here are some of the notable cycling clubs in Canterbury:


  • Canterbury Cycling Club:

As one of the area’s oldest and most active cycling clubs, Canterbury Cycling Club welcomes cyclists of all abilities. They offer a variety of rides, including social rides, training sessions, and road races, creating a friendly and supportive community for cyclists to connect and improve their skills.


  • Canterbury Bicycle Club:

The Canterbury Bicycle Club is a recreational cycling club that organizes leisurely rides, perfect for those who enjoy exploring the countryside at a relaxed pace. With a focus on promoting cycling as a fun and social activity, this club welcomes cyclists of all ages and backgrounds.


  • VC Deal Canterbury:

VC Deal Canterbury is a vibrant cycling club that caters to road cyclists, both racers and enthusiasts. While based in Deal, they frequently organize rides in the Canterbury area, providing opportunities for cyclists to challenge themselves and enjoy group rides in scenic surroundings.


  • Kent Velo Girls Club:

Kent Velo Girls is a women’s cycling club with members from across Kent, including Canterbury. This club promotes women’s cycling and offers a supportive and inclusive environment for female cyclists of all abilities.


  • Thanet Road Club:

Although based in Thanet, the Thanet Road Club welcomes cyclists from Canterbury and surrounding areas. With a focus on road cycling, this club organizes group rides, time trials, and social events, creating a vibrant cycling community for enthusiasts in the region.


  • Gav’s Bike Club:

Gav’s Bike Club is a welcoming group for casual cyclists, families, and beginners looking to enjoy leisurely rides around Canterbury and beyond. The club’s inclusive approach makes it an excellent choice for those new to cycling or seeking a relaxed and enjoyable riding experience.


Each cycling club in Canterbury offers a unique experience, from road racing to leisurely social rides, providing opportunities to connect with like-minded cyclists and explore Canterbury’s scenic landscapes and charming surroundings. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a novice cyclist, these local clubs offer an excellent platform to share your passion for cycling and discover new adventures in this charming city.


Final verdict


Canterbury promises a delightful cycling experience with scenic routes, historic charm, and a vibrant cycling community. Embark on the picturesque Crab and Winkle Way, leading to the coastal town of Whitstable, or relish the tranquillity of The Great Stour Way along the river.

For a more challenging adventure, explore the beauty of the Elham Valley. The city’s bike shops offer a diverse range of bicycles and gear, catering to cyclists of all levels.

With designated bike parking locations throughout the city, cyclists can confidently lock their bikes while exploring Canterbury’s enchanting landscapes and cultural treasures.













Arjun Mertiya

Arjun Mertiya


Since Arjun was a young child, bikes have played a big part of his life. He races bikes, rides bikes and also loves writing about bikes. It’s always just been a way of life for Arjun and a passion that he loves to share with others..

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